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Topic: Non fiction writers... any others out there?

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Subject: Non fiction writers... any others out there?
Date Posted: 11/20/2007 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 11
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Are there any other non-fiction writers out there? I write about life events and interesting people I have met. I'd love to get critiques on them. Most people who I've shared the stores with (family and friends) love them, but it's the content that they are praising me on and I need feedback about my writing style and word use.





Date Posted: 11/26/2007 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2007
Posts: 9
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Yes, i do non-fiction, but not the same type as you.

Mine are mostly informational or articles.  For instance:  " a Ghost  Need Not Be Dead".

Date Posted: 11/27/2007 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 11
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Thanks! Do you write just for enjoyment, or do you post them some where? I have a blog, but I'd love to get published! How about you?

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2005
Posts: 10
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I usually write short fiction, but have a couple of longer non-fiction works in the pipeline, as well as several freelance non-fiction works (reviews, previews, interviews, and entertainment profiles).

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 4,878
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I write part-time, and have hundreds of published articles--all non-fiction.  Check out my website www.lynnklammer.com to see me and read about my work.

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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Lynn, love your website.  Thanks for link to the publisher as well.  I've got a new inspriration running through my head now.

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
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Yeah, nonfiction is much, much easier to sell.

"A Ghost Need Not Be Dead"--what a great title! I'm burning to know what it's about!

Date Posted: 12/30/2007 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 56
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Couldn't help but stop by, I'm a fiction writer sticking my toes in the non-fiction pool. I'm ghost writing (LOL above posts) a book for a relative. It's a very diffrent kettle of fish.

I've really enjoyed Writers Digest on the internet, not so much the magazine. They have area's you can post things you write for comments. I wouldn't post anything you want to sell though.


Date Posted: 1/23/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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I know what you mean. Sometimes you need opinions from others besides family and friends. I often wonder if my friends are just being nice with their praise...ha.

Where do you blog? Send me a PM. I am kind of addicted to blog reading. I have abandoned my own blog for over a month to concentrate on an attempt at authoring my own book of non fiction. I'd like to read and provide feed on your material if that's o.k with you

Subject: Non Fiction
Date Posted: 2/25/2008 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2008
Posts: 77
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I write non-fiction & some fiction that is based on my real life events. Currently in the works is my memoirs. Yes, I have my daughter (grown) or my husband critique all my material. My latest book deals with my life with a psychopath, which deals with my 20 year first marriage. That ended abusively and tragically , &  how long it took me to overcome co-dependency. It is being drafted & my current husband encourages me every day to keep it going. He will ask what I wrote today & may he see it. This keeps me at it, as I have several books half finished on various computers , in the cellar & whereever, lol. My daughter told me that she didnt like the last one , which dealt with a poor family in the dust bowl. She said it reminded her of "The Grapes of Wrath~ Steinbeck" , which she told me she never did like. So that is put away as well.  It really was a true account of my own family history that I  turned  fictional , due to some still living. I will not allow critiques to people who are not close to me without a copywrite. But sometimes I do get stuck in second & third conversations. A lot, as a matter of fact. But, I try to keep at it until it is right, to me. ~ Peace~ Shanna

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 582
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I write and edit a fair amount of technical (mostly computer software) documentation.

I'm also working with my mother on a translation (from Dutch) of a favorite childhood book of fairytales.  But that would be fiction. 

Last Edited on: 2/26/08 4:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: getting started with non-fiction
Date Posted: 3/4/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 5
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As mentioned, it's easy to get started with writing non-fiction. My recommendation, particularly for those looking to share personal stories, is to start with simple, short articles (500-1500 words) and not try to write the definitive book or Vanity Fair article. You can find numerous places on the web to get pieces published. Don't insist on print only.

Start writing, keep writing, but try to get published often. The more your name is out there and the more it's recognizable, the more likely you can get published in larger outlets. The more you publish, the more feedback you'll get on your writing, and the better you'll get.

I write mostly computer software articles and political opinions, but I've also written an article on fantasy football. If I have something interesting to say, I try to shape that into an article.

I've established a regular column on one site for which I've written a few dozen articles in the past 18 months. I've published enough articles for a book, if I were interested. If you work things out with the publisher, you can probably retain rights for using derivative material in a book.

My experience is that most publishers of non-fiction, web or print, are desperate for quality material. Some of them are very interested in consistently filling up a schedule, and are real happy if you can deliver on time.

Short-term, I wouldn't recommend doing it for the money so much as the exposure, but the extra cash is nice (and helps pay for, what else, more books). I've sold articles for as little as $10 and $20 a pop, but I'm getting $250 each for the regular column. If you can't sell an article, put it on your own site!

Finally... grow a nice, thick skin. Some people are amazingly brutal with critique, and at times completely unjustified. Remember that every criticism is a lesson of some sort.  Often, the lesson is "you can't please everybody!"



Date Posted: 3/6/2008 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 4,878
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Jeff--just wanted to second those last comments of yours about growing a thick skin--esp. since they included the message that there's something to learn from every comment.  

I'm a published writer too (books and articles), and it seems so many people quit after their first rejection.  If you're really going to be a writer, than you have to be able to overlook all the negatives and rely primarily on yourself for that "pat on the back".

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 5
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Thanks for the reply Lynn!

Another thing to do is collect all of the positive quotes, whether they're from Amazon or blogs or other reviews, and put them in one place. For my most recent book, I put all those quotes on the web site. Not only do they help promote the book, but it's something to look at any time I feel that I could use a confidence boost.

Subject: non-fiction/ fiction writing
Date Posted: 3/7/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 5
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I mostly write fiction, but freelance write non-fiction articles, etc. A couple of tips that I think work for both short fiction/ non-fiction:

If you're worried about style and word choice, read everything aloud to yourself. If you can record yourself, do it. Then listen for spots where you stumble or automatically correct yourself.

A great way to make sure you're not repeating the same words over and over and over again is the use of the "find/replace"  tool. If you search for a particulary word, you'll be able to see just how many times you used " I" or "I think" of "totally".

Good luck! If you like, you can PM me with a link to your blog, I can take a look and critique. But mind you, I have nothing but an overdeveloped ego to back up my opinions... ;-D

Subject: Places to get published
Date Posted: 3/17/2008 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 11
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In regards to your statement, Jeff " You can find numerous places on the web to get pieces published.", what do you consider the more "reputable" places on the web to get published?



Subject: nonfiction feedback
Date Posted: 3/17/2008 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2007
Posts: 4
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I echo what someone said earlier about not posting any articles for public view that you'd like to sell. Some publishers and even contests specify  that they will not accept stories that have been previously published on a blog or other site where potentially 5,000 people could view it. That's without even getting into the fear that someone dishonest could sell your story as his own.

A safe place to get feedback is the Internet Writing Workshop. It's a free listserv discussion. It's safe because one of the user agreements is "no plagiarism."


Date Posted: 3/19/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 5
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Hi Susan,

I write mostly computer articles, so I publish to sites like JavaWorld and Developer.com. For non-fiction, pretty much any reputable site in your genre has potential. For example, if you are into anarchist market capitalist politics (I am), the site Strike-The-Root.com is always looking for more well written pieces. If you're into, say, the medical field, I'm sure WebMD would be interested in articles. I wrote a piece on fantasy football a few years ago and tossed it to a couple of sites I recognized. I didn't get any money, but it was published.

The other advice about being careful what you post is valid. If you are looking to re-publish in book form later, you should take this into consideration. As mentioned, some publishers don't want pre-published material. Also, you may need to concern yourself with retaining rights.

Still, I would recommend publishing often on the web, and for the primary reason is that it's good marketing. It gets your name out there, it builds up a legitimate portfolio, and it brings more people to your site (if that's what you're interested in). If you're worried about getting a book published later, just remember that some people make entire careers out of re-writing the same article a few dozen times.

I think I mentioned some additional reasons, but certainly, just getting practice writing for others, and feedback from them, is extremely important. You don't want to blow your book, so to speak, and find out that your writing skills leave a lot to be desired.

I don't think this applies as well to fiction.


Last Edited on: 3/19/08 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/19/2008 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 9
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Hello everyone,

I'm very new here and have been enjoying reading everyone's posts.

To introduce myself, I am a professional writer and media editor for Ghost! Magazine (currently on hiatus). In addition, I have book reviews published in HauntedTimes, Mysteries Magazine, and am featured in Jeff Belanger's (www.ghostvillage.com) book, "Encyclopedia of Haunted Places."

Thus far, my non-fiction writing has been contained, so to speak, to the genre of ghosts and the unexplained. I am at a cross roads, though, and feel I have painted myself into a corner. My interests are shifting, and I wish to write about other things. Anything else, actually.

I would like to do articles on history, some journal writing, blogging, and work on my seriously inadequate fiction. I do lack the confidence to move on into other writing areas. I also have a fear of publishing anything on-line.


Anyway, I would love some advice and feedback. Have an aweosme day!






Last Edited on: 5/19/08 8:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I have a friend who is a newswriter for a major news network, so that would be non-fiction.